Just like they drew it up: Cliff Lee got the win, Jonathan Papelbon closed out a close game with a perfect ninth and the Phillies topped the Rangers on Opening Day.
The Phillies went into the season opener having gone three straight spring games without scoring a run, but who cares now? They racked up 17 hits and six walks in a 14-10 win over Texas — their highest run total on Opening Day since a 19-17 win on April 19, 1900.
Rollins appeared to open the game up in the second inning with a two-out grand slam to make it 6-0. It was his 200th career homer. In all of April last season, Rollins had one homer and seven RBIs.
Cliff Lee just didn't have it and got hit around all afternoon. He allowed eight runs on 11 hits and a walk and struck out just one, but considering his solid spring there should be no reason to worry. He picked up the win.
Ben Revere, Chase Utley and Cody Asche picked up three hits apiece. Marlon Byrd and Asche also hit solo homers. Ryan Howard struck out three times but also picked up two singles and drew a walk.
Jake Diekman, B.J. Rosenberg and Antonio Bastardo combined for three innings, allowing two runs, and gave way to Papelbon, who retired the Rangers in order in the ninth. Papelbon needed just 12 pitches, nine of which were strikes.
Pedro Figueroa was charged with the loss for yielding four runs in 1 2/3 innings. Tanner Scheppers struggled in his first big-league start, needing 93 pitches to get through four innings while giving up seven runs. The only Texas pitcher who didn't surrender a run was Seth Rosin, the former Phillies prospect, who tossed a scoreless ninth.
1. Patience at the plate. The three walks the Phillies drew in the second inning all led to runs, thanks to J-Roll's grand slam, and the bats forced Scheppers to throw 38 pitches in the frame, which contributed to his early exit. The Phillies drew three bases on balls in one inning just six times in 2013; they drew six or more walks in a game just nine times.
2. Jake Diekman. Thanks to his buddy B.J., he was charged with two earned runs, but it doesn't take away from what Diekman did in the sixth inning. He mowed through the top of Texas' order on 11 pitches, getting both Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder on strikeouts. Probably shouldn't have gone out for the seventh inning, anyway.
3. Byrd, Revere keep strokin'. Really the only two Phillies who looked good offensively all spring, Byrd (.298 in Florida) and Revere (.294) kept their hot bats going, combining for five hits and knocking in four runs. The homer was Byrd's first as a Phillie since Aug. 29, 2004 (off Pedro Liriano, then of the Brewers). All three of Revere's hits were hard-hit.
1. Howard on the basepaths. Has Howard ever looked worse on the bases? He hobbled around like his legs were tied together at the ankles. He had no business heading home on Carlos Ruiz's grounder with the Rangers' infield halfway in the third and was out by only about 30 feet.
2. Lee with a big lead. What is it about Cliff Lee that he can't seem to pitch with a big lead? Including today, his career ERA is 4.11 when his team gives him six or more runs of support and opponents are hitting .267 off him. When his team scores five runs or fewer, his ERA is 3.26. What gives, Cliff?
3. Miss the memo, Dom? Domonic Brown was about the only Phillie who didn't exercise patience in the batter's box. He saw a total of 14 pitches in five at-bats, which included a strikeout. He did pick up a hit and subsequently stole second and scored a run, but it would be nice to see him build on a spring in which he drew nine walks in 63 plate appearances by working the count more.
A.J. Burnett makes his Phillies debut vs. lefty Martin Perez and the Rangers on Tuesday at 8:05 p.m. (TCN). Texas hitters are a combined .244 lifetime off Burnett with four homers.